A McCain flip-flop on immigration?: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted June 20, 2008 5:14 PM
The Swamp

by Rick Pearson

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is going after Republican rival Sen. John McCain, questioning whether the Arizona senator is offering contradictory language on the hot-button issue of immigration reform following a closed-door meeting McCain held with activists during a recent trip to Chicago.

The criticism leveled by Robert Gibbs, Obama's communications director, marked a day of accusations between the Obama and McCain camps over which presumptive presidential nominee is more guilty of political doublespeak--a shorthand way to describe pandering versus truth telling. The Obama camp's move may be aimed at deflecting criticism the Democratic candidate said one thing--promising to negotiate a pact with McCain on public financing--and did another by rejecting it.

In the aftermath of McCain's closed-door visit with more than 100 Hispanic leaders on Wednesday--sandwiched into a fundraising visit by the Republican contender--a conservative anti-illegal immigration activist who attended the meeting contended McCain was offering conservatives one view of immigration reform while telling Latinos another.

In the meeting, attendees said McCain promised that, if elected, Congress would pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. That's anathema to people like Rosanna Pulido, the director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, who attended the event. Pulido said McCain used the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" three times. "To me, it's a code word for amnesty" for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, she said.

Pulido, who is of Mexican decent, acknowledged she told the Associated Press she thought McCain was "pandering to the crowd" by making a major emphasis on immigration reform in his 15-minute speech. Another attendee, Democratic Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval from Chicago's Southwest Side and an elected Hillary Clinton delegate, met privately later with McCain. He said McCain's remarks about immigration reform in the larger forum only lasted about 90 seconds while the Arizona senator talked more about job creation, keeping taxes low and the war in Iraq.

Pulido and Sandoval don't get along at all and Pulido has dubbed Sandoval the "godfather" of the illegal immigration movement into the state.

"He's one John McCain in front of white Republicans and he's a different John McCain in front of Hispanics," Pulido said, echoing remarks she made earlier to the AP. But Sandoval said Pulido's comments and the resulting fallout over his own meeting with McCain were an "overreaction" and that he told the Republican contender the same thing he would tell Obama--"Nobody should take for granted the Latino community."

Pulido has been vocal in her criticism of immigration reform efforts. Among the Illinois Minuteman's Web site's features is an article discussing the likely success of a U.S. military-led coup of the federal government as a result of illegal immigration and the war in Iraq. Pulido also has maintained that increases of up to 90 percent in the property taxes of Chicago-area Cook County homeowners were due to the costs of bilingual education and the costs of providing health and other services to illegal immigrants.

There are a couple of issues of interest here.

Obama has had difficulty attracting Hispanic voters who flocked to his vanquished rival Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign. Now, the Obama campaign is relying on criticism leveled by a Republican conservative activist who has referred to the presumptive GOP nominee as "Juan McCain" to push their criticism of McCain doubletalk.

The Obama push may help drive some conservatives who already have raised red flags about McCain further away. McCain led a failed push for immigration reform that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants but the proposal met with overwhelming public outcry, particularly among Republicans. But it is questionable whether the criticism helps Obama with the Hispanic audience he is trying to draw.

Pulido said she found it ironic that the Obama campaign would try to use the immigration meeting and criticism of McCain for political advantage.

"(Obama) really has little room to say anything because the only person who has a worse record than John McCain on immigration is Barack Obama, selling out his own people, the African-Americans who suffer more at the illegal immigration crisis than any Americans," she said. "Those people have just suffered more, their jobs and benefits and all that. It's really shameful that he is using it because his record is absolutely shameful."

As for McCain, Pulido said, "He has lost his way in the Republican Party. I am a conservative before I am a Republican and I am at the breaking point, like other Republicans are. There is such a backlash with John McCain."

The Obama campaign cited a Jan. 30 debate among the GOP presidential rivals in which they contended McCain said he would not vote for his immigration reform measure today because the American people made it clear that border security was their top priority. "It was just one of several examples through out the week of John McCain being in a tortured debate with John McCain," Gibbs said.

Other examples, Gibbs said, was McCain's reversal on off-shore oil drilling, telling Hillary Clinton supporters last weekend that he had no litmus test for federal judges despite telling abortion opponent and one-time GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer the opposite in 2000. Bauer told the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody that McCain, whom Bauer now supports, never made such a commitment in 2000.

The Obama campaign also said that McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina, in an appeal to Clinton's female supporters, noted that the Arizona senator "has never signed onto efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade," the landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion. But McCain, in a February 2007 visit to the early GOP primary state of South Carolina, said he believed the decision should be reversed.

Gibbs termed Friday "the end of pander week aboard the double-talk express of the John McCain campaign"--a takeoff of McCain's "Straight Talk express."

For McCain's part, Tucker Bounds, spokesman for the Republican's campaign, responded with this comment:

"Despite the wildly misinformed opinions of Barack Obama's spokesman, John McCain fundamentally believes that we need to secure our border, and then move forward to address the need for immigration reform in a respectful and compassionate manner that recognizes that we are all God's children. That's his position yesterday, today and every other day - before all the groups he meets with."

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McCain didn't even bother to show up to vote on what was commonly called the "Kennedy-McCain bill". The man has no political courage at all. He bends with the wind. Any group that counts on him to stick to a position and fight for them will be sadly disappointed.

Obama voted for the wall on the southern border in 2006 then when he ran for president was against it. The media has gotten an awful lot of mileage out of a member of the minutemen. I mean is this really reporpting.

Pulido has made anti catholic statements in the past. She has no credibility. It is a disgrace to give her this attention that she was after.

It ain't flip floppin, it be triangulatin'!!

It's ashame that this story relies on a disreputable source like Rosanna Pulido.

Ms. Pulido said one thing that was particularly disingenuous when she said, "I have friends in Washington, DC, on this issue."

She actually has an employer in Washington DC that she failed to disclose.

Pulido is a field staffer for the controversial Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the oldest and most influential nativist organization in the country.

FAIR has continued to come under scrutiny for receiving more than $1.2 million from a white supremacist foundation and employing white nationalists.

Pulido herself has been widely condemned for anti-Catholic statements she’s made in Chicago.

One thing is clear, Ms. Pulido is not a relaible source.

Visit the Campaign for a United America to find out more.

Posted by: Devin Burghart | June 20, 2008 7:12 PM

Who cares Devin? Do you really think anyone in the swamp is looking for truth? This is the forum where one party starts a lie about the other, and like a band of zombies, one by one the rest of the partisans fall in line behind the lie. Are you really bringing us the truth Devin? I think not...just playing your part. Bravo!

oh, i love it.......everytime the NoBo's get caught in a blunder, racist or elitist remark, flip flop or straight up lie, they rev up the spin machine and attempt to redirect attention upon the opponent. Give it up, already.....America's on to you Barry.......the fact that McCain has the fortitude to weigh the importance of major issues and get a true sense of how we, the citizens feel about them (i.e. immigration & reproductive rights) says alot about the man and his Leadership qualities which a diverse nation like ours really needs. The fact that McCain draws from his personal history in the Southwest to inform his approach to immigration and his repeated affirmation of respect for all God's children ALSO speaks volumes to his character, intellect and humanity.

both obama and mc cain need to make it very clear that they plan to deport all illegal alien s are they will both lose a lot of vote s we are tired of the law s not being enforced

Just make the headline of this story a template.

"A McCain flip-flop on (pick an issue and fill in the blank)"

I think Barack should stay away from the topic of immigration. McCain has already sponsored what his own party leaders (falsely) labeled "amnesty".

Let them attack McCain if they dare. When your opponent has dissed his own conservative base on the subject, no need to pick at the scab.

Because then the press will press you for your program, and that unweildy subject will come right to the fore.

Just back-burner it and after Jan.20 enact the Kennedy-McCain bill or something similar.

Pulido has no credibility. Period. And how is comprehensive immigration reform code for amnesty? If Pulido believes the current system is working I have some swampland in Florida I'd like to talk to her about.
p.s. Maybe Barry forgets about how he sat on his hands in the US Senate (like he's done every day he's been there) while John McCain showed real leadership on the immigration issue.

It' s evident that the candidate that takes a strong position supporting immigration reform, will run away with the hispanic vote and the election.

If illegal immigration is your top issue, write in a vote for Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo or Ron Paul. Neither McCain or Obama has any interest in upholding the law. They merely want to pander to Hispanics, most of whom seem to think, "I only care about my fellow Hispanics...even illegals...and not about my fellow countrymen."

Over 20 million unidentified and undocumented aliens have illegally crossed the Mexican border to wreak havoc across our nation. The damage they have inflected is insurmountable.

There is no higher national priority today than to secure the Mexican border.

The Swamp can drop the question mark from the headline. McCain has already flip-flopped on the issue. He once supported comprehensive immigration reform. In the GOP primary, he abandoned that stance for the position of "securing the borders first." I guess we can question whether he has now flipped AGAIN. It's hard to keep up.

Panola, why hasn't the federal government enforced the laws of the books for the last 20 years? Why are we just starting to do it, now?
Immigration reform has to address the people who have been law-abiding, taxpaying citizens for that entire time. Either way, I think we agree that the current system isn't working. That's why McCain is right when he says we need comprehensive reform, no matter what Pulido thinks that means.

Both McCain or Obama are going to swamp America, with another AMNESTY proposal. That will legalize millions that taxpayers will be forced to support. Then millions more from third world countries will hop the border, looking for free handouts and nothing on earth will stop the rush.
We must get our Democratic representatives to sponsor the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) But right now Backroom discussions continue on whether to de-fund effective efforts that deter illegal immigration

U.S. House leaders continue to gauge whether next Tuesday (June 24) they can escape public wrath if they take funding away from a couple of the most effective enforcement procedures resulting in illegal aliens leaving the country.

No. 1: 287(g) program allowing and equipping local agencies to arrest and detain illegal aliens of all kinds.
No. 2: Arrests of any illegal alien encountered while looking for criminal alien fugitives.

You can continue to phone committee members at 202-224-3121, asking for expanded funding for the 287(g) program for local immigration enforcement.
Anti-Enforcement Ideas Circulating
All unsuppressed details at NUMBERSUSA. Your jobs, your children's future is in peril.

* * * * *
Posted by: Jeff | June 21, 2008 7:44 PM
* * * * *
* * * * *
I'm glad you got the number of years of non-enforcement correct this time. Last time you mentioned 7 years of non-enforcement instead of 20. Even twenty is too few.
* * * * *
However, I am a little mystified at your comment that, "Immigration reform has to address the people who have been law-abiding, taxpaying citizens for that entire time." No illegal aliens are citizens, period. None of them have been "law abiding" if one recalls that the very presence of an illegal alien is, well . . . ILLEGAL, regardless of how long they have been here. As for being "tax-paying," I would like to know how they could lawfully pay taxes without a valid social security or taxpayer ID number - which only citizens and legal, resident aliens can get. If they've paid taxes using a phony SS number, that would be SS and tax fraud. If they haven't paid taxes for fear of being caught and deported, it is still tax evasion. Thus, if what you are saying is true, and we should consider only those who meet your criteria, then only the children of illegal aliens who are born here (and are, therefore, citizens) should receive favorable treatment, and their illegal parents and siblings deserve no consideration at all.

The American taxpaying citizens are being raped by our own politicians and the extreame liberals of America.

Both McCain and Obama are enemies to U.S. sovereignty. Both of them, in word and deed, have demonstrated this by supporting amnesty.

We are facing a slow-motion invasion of foreign nationals who hold no allegience to the U.S., come here to steal our national treasure in one form or another, and have no intention of assimilating.

According to our own government's reports, between 4 and 9 million illegal aliens invade our nation each year who fit the above description. If this is not an invasion as defined by Article 4 Section 4 of the Constitution, then I don't know what is!

I encourage anyone who has ever taken the oath of service "...to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic..." to reconsider the expiration date on that oath--there is none.

Our elected officials, who have all sworn this oath, are falling down on the job and need to be held accountable by We The People. Some of them are victims of a career of politics, others are intentionally violating their oath.

In either case, the solution must begin right now. We must begin to recruit and elect Joe and Jane Citizen who are not career politicians and who have lived with the detrimental effects of this invasion.

If we do not begin to find the right people to replace our current batch of elected representatives, we'll be in no better shape at the end of the next presidential administration than we are now.

Regardless of where you stand with McCain, Obama, or Pulido for that matter, the only measuring stick that ought to be used against politicians actions and the bills that they submit is the Constitutuion.

Do not sit back and fool yourelf by saying "someone else will work to fix this problem." As it has historically, it falls to each of us individually to find a way to contribute to the return to a Constitutional Republic.

Jason Mrochek
Co-founder & Executive Director
FIRE Coalition

"One thing is clear, Ms. Pulido is not a relaible source."
I don't know of this lady, but to say she is not a credible source when there are transcripts of the event and other witnesses available to PROVE her words is simply an attempt at slander.
Why are you doing that?
I'm really curious why any one would risk their integrity, credibility, and self respect to do that.

Both presumptive Senator Obama, McCain and then House Speaker Pelosi have a lot to answer for, regarding to illegal immigration.. Their idea of Comprehensive Amnesty last March would have helped to bankrupt the country. Because what illegal aliens cannot get in benefits now, such as free health care, education and a host of benefits from both federal and state programs, they would have inherited after getting legal status. Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter are not like the political party members above, as they want the borders fence built according to the original plan and certainly no path to instant citizenship. Tancredo would eradicate the misinterpreted birthright law and stop all free welfare benefits to illegal foreign nationals.
Even as I speak the House Appropriations Committee today (today) will be deciding how the federal government enforces immigration laws. 202-224-3121 We must demand the border fence constructed according to Duncan Hunters 'Secure border fence act (2008), reluctant Democrats must endorse the Federal SAVE ACT (4088) We must insist on full funding for (ICE) and no gutting of any programs. NUMBERS.

Both candidate understand that unless they support a comprehensive immigration reform, they will never become president. The problem with McCain is that he has been flip flopping. Last year he argued that border security and reform has to be dome simultaneously and now because of his need for the conservative vote, he wants to have the border shored up first. He knows quite well, that it would take many years for a complete border installation. The 700 miles that Congress has ordered USCIS to accomplish won't be ready until 2010. Imagine when a 2000 mile fence will be completed. Never? So, it seems that Obama will receive the Hispanic votes and will be the next president.

The US is screwed no matter who wins this election. These two clowns are the best this country has to offer? There is little difference between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. Both parties have homogenized into a corporate global movement. They don't give a damn about this country or the American people. Wake up America.

If the INS had done its job 9/11 would have not happened.

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